Monthly Archives: September 2013

September 2013 Vol 5 (3) Edition

Sources and Resources — A Newsletter for Criminal Justice and Related Professionals

The BCCJA is a not for profit association of criminal justice and related professionals which has been fostering debate, dialogue, providing advocacy and advancing current and best practices for 40 years. Visit our website at www.bccja.com.

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide information of professional interest to our members and colleagues. Let us know your thoughts and ideas and if you would like to be put on our distribution list at newsletter@bccja.com.

We have devoted the last four issues to highlighting topic areas for our upcoming Congress. In the current issue, we return to our more traditional format and topic areas. If you would like to see us provide more attention to specific criminal-justice areas or topics, please drop us a line and let us know at newsletter@bccja.com. As always, we welcome your feedback, complimentary and corrective.

Congress 2013, Coming Right Up: October 2-5

Our readers know about Congress 2013 in Vancouver, B.C. The June 2013 edition of this newsletter was devoted entirely to the content of each session. If you access the June issue (link on right under Recent Editions), the outstanding line-up will be at your fingertips. You know you want to attend, so register here. Registrants might like to know that you can show your conference badge at any of the restaurants, retail outlets, attractions, etc listed on this page to receive discounts and special offers. You can find other BC travel deals here.

Newsletter Contents

Criminal Justice Policy (21 items) Victims of Crime (6 items)
Criminal Justice System (12 items) Sexual Offenders (8 items)
The Law and Courts (16 items) Mental Health (11 items)
Police (10 items) Related Interest (12 items)
Children and Youth (24 items) Did You Know?
Corrections and Community (23 items) Important Sources and Resources
Criminal Behavior (19 items)

Upcoming Conferences and events!

  • The Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD will be held in Edmonton, Alberta, from September 18 – 20, 2013. The conference aims to bring experts together to address specific key questions and legal issues for FASD.
  • The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers will hold its annual conference in Chicago from Oct 30 – Nov 2, 2013. You can review the presentation abstracts and register at the ATSA site.

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Criminal Justice Policy

Criminal Justice System

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The Law and Courts

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Police

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Children and Youth

  • The McCreary Centre Society has just released the results of their third survey of youth in custody. The report includes data from 114 young people aged 12-19 who were in custody between August 2012 and January 2013. To read the media release, please click here. To download a copy of the report, please click here.
  • Human Rights Watch has issued an important report detailing the impacts, largely negative, of listing children on sex offender registries. You can access the full report here.
  • A report to the United Nations calls for a thoughtful approach to dealing with children in criminal justice systems including making deprivation of liberty a last-resort measure.
  • Ontario’s provincial advocate for child and youth is calling for independent investigation of alleged problems at a new youth facility. The provincial advocate’s full report is available here.
  • Our readers will have noticed that many jurisdictions (in the US and beyond) are revising juvenile justice policies to reduce the use of incarceration. Here is a recent report that reviews the experiences and results of the nine states that are leading this movement in the US.
  • This article overviews the growing movement to reduce incarceration for juvenile offenders in favor of community-based programs that cost less, decrease re-offending and improve youth and family well-being.
  • The MacArthur Foundation is funding four juvenile justice reform centres to help promote change in this important policy area.
  • Here are some of the jurisdictions that are actively engaged in juvenile justice policy reform:
    • The Nebraska legislature has passed legislation to focus on mental health treatment and rehabilitation instead of punishment
    • There is growing pressure in Florida for legislation to fix a juvenile justice system that over-criminalizes youthful behavior and treats children as adults.
    • Georgia has passed legislation that will seek to provide more non-incarceration options for juveniles.
    • Hawaii is considering revisions to their juvenile justice system that would reduce incarceration and provide more treatment services.
    • India’s Chief Justice has stressed the importance of revising that country’s juvenile justice system.
  • Scotland introduced changes to its juvenile justice system two years ago to reduce incarceration while increasing treatment services. The changes are apparently working well as juvenile crime appears to be down about  49%.
  • Recent changes to New Zealand’s youth criminal justice system that aim to keep offenders out of the court system appear to be successful as youth crime rates continue to drop.
  • Although crimes by and incarceration of juveniles in California have dropped dramatically, concern is raised that improving economic conditions may have a negative effect on these gains.
  • A group called Campaign for Youth Justice has released a report calling for greater involvement of families in the juvenile justice system.
  • Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network’s (PREVNet) mission is to stop bullying. Here is PREVNet’s advice to government’s about preventing bullying.
  • Chicago is anticipating the re-opening of schools where closures have forced children to pass through rival gang territory to get to school. The Chicago Public Schools have designated safe passage routes and literally will paint the streets to identify these routes.
  • This author says that fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is preventable but that lack of treatment makes an adolescent 19 times more likely to have a run-in with the law.
  • Childhood anxiety is often misdiagnosed. The chemical reaction known as fight-or-flight explains resistance and needs to be understood for what it is, says this author.
  • A new study has found that youths who said they frequently consume booze or pot were up to five times more likely than abstinent youths to report having suffered at least one traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for at least five minutes or hospitalized overnight.
  • Poverty and crime contribute to an ‘uncertain outlook’ for the Milwaukee public schools which has 79,000 students, an estimated 20% of whom are special needs students.
  • Adults’ hyper-vigilance about strangers hurts children – and everyone else writes columnist Douglas Todd, in this think piece.

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Corrections and Community

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Criminal Behavior

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Victims of Crime

Sexual Offenders

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Mental Health

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Related Interest

  • Public policy can be driven by facts, but often by myths that are generally believed to be fact. This article describes research trying to understand how myths become facts.
  • Why does misinformation (e.g., Obama’s birthplace) seem so resistant to correction, and how can it be changed?
  • Here is a comprehensive report on the use and limitations of the polygraph.
  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has adopted a report from its task force on criminal justice  calling for significant system reform.
  • Ice cream lovers bewail! When ice creams sales are up in New Orleans, so is the incidence of homicide!
  • While it is widely believed that adolescents have a greater tolerance for risky behavior, recent research has found this not to be the case. Rather, adolescents are poorer at judging the effects of their behavior.
  • Four global economists study the accumulation of income by the richest one percent and ask why has the income level doubled  for the top 1% in the US when it has not in other parts of the world.
  • Four scholars from Harvard and Berkeley have done some retrospective study on social capital and poverty.
  • Social enterprises are key to economic regeneration says this British MP. He points to some efforts in Portugal, a country with desperate unemployment, for ideas for job creation using social enterprise approaches.
  • Here’s an article on the decline in the life of organizations and associations – churches, political connections, civic associations and a suggestion that social media is anything but social.
  • Research suggests that empathy can inhibit the ability to think analytically, and vice versa.
  • Finally, on the “lighter” side, here is an amazing video of bank robbers escaping.

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Did You Know?

The Smart Justice Network is a consortium of volunteers to promote a vision of responsible justice in Canada. It was created by a number of concerned individuals who have or are working in the justice system.  Smart Justice puts out a daily bulletin of topical news items. Smart Justice can be contacted at: info@smartjustice.ca. Smart Justice is also on Facebook.

The BCCJA Island Branch is an active Branch of the BCCJA located largely in the south Vancouver Island. Get involved! For additional up to date information on Vancouver Island activities at any time, click on the VICJA button at www.bccja.com.

The Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) is our national organization and has existed since 1919. CCJA publishes the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, quarterly Justice Reports, and an electronic newsletter regularly. Their website includes book reviews and position papers on important topics of relevance to criminal justice. Take a few minutes to update yourself on the information available on their website. Their periodic electronic newsletter provides a quick scan of issues before government and items in the public eye.

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Important Sources and Resources

The Justice Institute of British Columbia specializes in justice and public safety agency training and education. Its’ library is a premier source of academic and experiential training information. For instance, visit the Library site for a prepared bibliography on a wide range of topics: gangs, bullying, critical incident stress, emergency management, etc.

The Vera Institute of Justice is a research body which we have quoted in the BCCJA newsletter in the past. The Institute has begun a newsletter to help popularize some of its findings. You can link to the June issue here.

The National Institute of Corrections‘ excellent website gives access to a wide variety of materials related to criminal behavior and corrections issues. We found the “Library” tab an excellent start.

Restorative Justice BC has an excellent website as a resource of interest to practitioners, community partners and others with an interest in restorative justice, who are wanting to stay up to date on current issues and practices. As an example, the latest newsletter from Restorative Justice International is available on their web-site.

JusticeBC.ca has been created by the British Columbia government  “… to ensure the right information and services are available for people who become involved with the criminal justice system in B.C.” It’s a good resource for everyone, with information on legal assistance, jury duty, corrections and court services, plus more……

As part of its Domestic Violence Action Plan, the Government of B.C. has developed a new web portal of resources for victims of domestic violence to help them get the support they need. Click here for the website. The following is another site that provides a wealth of information on preventing domestic and sexual violence.

The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder website  is for justice system professionals and provides important excellent information on such matters as identification, causal factors, legal resources and effective intervention strategies.

Changing Directions, Changing Lives: A Mental Health Strategy for Canada was launched on May 12, 2012 by the Mental Health Commission of CanadaThe Commission exists to promote mental health in Canada, and works with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems, and to improve services and support. Check their web-site for a series of audio-visual clips on the Strategy, and also for important information regarding a number of key initiatives.

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